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I have had the privilege of working with Jocelyn Cooper for the past eight years and am grateful for this opportunity to reflect and celebrate her successes. Her passion for counseling and supporting people has been evident in her interactions with everyone. She started as an intern and stayed on with the Council holding different positions fulfilling each one with excellence. Jocelyn accepted the Executive Director position in 2017, along with Barbara Sprechman and myself as part of the Executive Team. Her strong commitment to the Council's mission to serve our community through prevention and education was crucial in her taking on the administrative leadership role.
Throughout this time, among host of other things, she delivered prevention programs; professional development education; conducted Substance Abuse Evaluations; provided services to our Employee Assistance Program clients; oversight to all our prevention programs and staff; supervision to Recovery Support program and staff; and set forth policies and procedures for Board, staff and program development. She is a people-oriented leader giving her time and attention to the fullest to every one of our staff. The family-like team culture was fostered by Jocelyn and this has been a key component in surviving the continuing covid-19 pandemic with minimal issues as an organization. Challenges encountered along the way propelled tremendous growth in her ability to lead and influence.
Personally, Jocelyn was the answer to prayer for taking on the leadership of the Council after Geetha's passing; cherished companion in navigating everyday tasks; encourager to embrace my leadership role; and challenger to confidently express my abilities.
Read on for more reflections from our Staff and Board of Jocelyn's impact…
"3.5 years just doesn't seem like enough time with you, this is such a bittersweet moment. You are a breath of fresh air and a ray of light. Keep shining bright, you are such a sweet soul and I pray you have much success moving forward. I hope our path cross again, this isn't a good bye, but see you later. You have been such an inspiration, because of you I've considered going back to school for mental health/social work. Thank you for believing in me and supporting me via ASYSST and through my personal ventures."
- Shakita Johnson, Youth Development Specialist
"Thank you for your profound impact on MCADA and greater Mercer County. Your commitment to prevention and recovery is evident in all that you do and by the many hats you've worn – as Executive Director, educator, and practitioner. As a new Board member, I am especially grateful for your welcoming approach and the extra time you took in answering questions and bringing me up to speed. Not long after, you demonstrated courageous leadership in guiding the Council through a global pandemic, and served as a strategic thought partner in a continuity of operations plan for unparalleled services in the community. Your absence will be surely felt across the Council, its partners, staff, local families, and trustees, and know that you will be missed. As you enter this new and exciting chapter, I send to you my well wishes and the best of luck in all your endeavors."
-Jarrett Fisher, Board Member
"Jocelyn has been nothing but a supportive, validating, understanding, and encouraging boss. Since the very first day I started working at Mercer Council, she has made me feel welcomed, seen, valued, and appreciated. It has truly been an honor getting to work for and alongside her. Although I will miss Jocelyn deeply, I couldn't be more excited to see what the future holds for her. I have no doubt she will continue to do amazing work and touch the lives of each individual she works with. Congratulations Jocelyn!"
-Carly Scanlon, Mental Health Clinician
"I have been inspired by Jocelyn's dedicated leadership. She clearly cares deeply about the work of Mercer Council, the clients and families served, and the Council staff team. It has been a pleasure connecting with her, and observing the tremendous impact she's had on the organization and its people. It is incredible to reflect on the number of lives touched through her selfless commitment. I have every faith in the continued success of the Council, and that of Jocelyn in her future endeavors."
-Leanna Fenneberg, Board Member
"In my last 2 years on the Board of Trustees, I've had the opportunity to see the depth and breadth of your work for Mercer Council. I admire your dedication and vision, and all you've accomplished in your tenure on the Council. I also admire your authenticity and honoring your personal journey to undertake a new path when you felt the pull toward it. I wish you both success and happiness in your new endeavors."
-Shirley Roberts, Board Member
"I have only known Jocelyn a brief period. However, in the interim I have been inspired with her compassion and understanding of people who struggle with substance related challenges. In joining the council, she has been an unwavering shining beacon of support for me, always available to expand my understanding of substance use challenges, sound board ideas, and collectively she has always made me feel like she cared, was invested and believed in me. I believe she incorporates all the strong attributes of an advocate; she is a voice that inspires, motivates and encourages."
-Angela Campos, Prevention Educator
"Mercer Council was very fortunate to have had Jocelyn Cooper as Executive Director over the past years. She has led her team with a passion for prevention and an expectation for all staff to be the best version of themselves. I have been inspired by her leadership and commitment to our community. She will be greatly missed."
-Barbara Sprechman, Prevention Educator/Former Assistant Executive Director
"Starting on my first day of working alongside Jocelyn seven years ago, I immediately took notice of her dedication to Mercer Council and her desire to teach and help others. Jocelyn showed me from day one her personable nature, positivity, patience, genuineness, and encouragement. She made me feel sincerely valued at the council and has continued to make me feel this way every day since then. Jocelyn is a natural-born leader who demonstrates an innate ability to uplift others and instill confidence in them to succeed. She has left a profound mark on Mercer Council. We will deeply miss her and wish her all the best in her new endeavors!"
-Vanessa DeRosa, Prevention Educator
"I think Jocelyn is a unique and extremely caring person. When I first met Jocelyn I could feel the strength from her presence and the confidence that is needed in a good leader. Jocelyn has worked very hard to keep MACADA moving forward. During these difficult times with Covid Jocelyn never gave up. The determination and drive that Jocelyn has displayed is truly admired by all. I wish Jocelyn an excellent and fun next life chapter.
-Lance Liverman, Board Member
"Thank you for your leadership of the Mercer Council. You are a kind, patient, and humble leader while attending to every detail. The agency has come a long way because you inspire others. I look forward to seeing what is next for you. I am confident that you will be very successful no matter what you choose. Love and light,"
-Toni Lewis, Board Member
"I have enjoyed watching you see a better way to a better world, by building confidence one action at a time. I've been inspired by your bravery, and drive to always be learning and growing to better serve those in need. You have encouraged me in my journey and I am forever thankful for who you are, how you lead, and all you have accomplished here at MCADA. I wish you much success in your next chapter."
-Lisa Kauffman, Administrative Assistant
"I cannot thank you enough for your encouragement, advice, and trust you have given me in the five years I have been with the council. Through your leadership I have challenged myself and have grown in my profession. Although these last two years have been challenging (to say the least) you guided us through and made us better and stronger. Success awaits you as you begin this next chapter in your life. I wish you all the best as you continue on your journey. You will be missed."
-Amy Argiriou, Prevention Educator
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